Free Wills Month: Why wills are important

According to the Financial Times, 50% of UK adults haven’t made a will. If you haven’t planned how you wish your estate to be split in the event of your death, you might want to take advantage of Free Wills Month this March!

Free Wills Month is an March campaign. It consists of a network of well-respected charities, offering anyone aged 55+ the opportunity to have a simple Will written or updated at no charge! Macmillan Cancer Support also offers a free will service accessible to people aged 18+.

The main three types you could consider are:

  • Cash Gift – paid out of your estate first; the rest is divided following your additional instructions.
  • Residuary Gift: Gifting a share of your estate to a charity could reduce the Inheritance Tax that the rest of your estate is liable to pay.
  • Specific Gift – This is a great option if you want to keep particular items in the family.

In addition to helping your loved ones, you can elect to leave a gift to the charity that offered you this free service.

What is a Will?

Wills are of paramount importance in financial planning. Specifically, they serve as a comprehensive roadmap for distributing your assets according to your wishes after your demise. Having a will ensures your loved ones are cared for. In addition, it minimises potential disputes and can help reduce inheritance tax. A professionally drafted will provide peace of mind, knowing your estate will be handled with proficiency and care. However, if life deals you a bad hand it is also important to have a lasting power of attorney.

9 Reasons Why Wills Are Important

  1. Control Your Estate—This will ensure your loved ones receive what you intended. For example, without a will, you are subject to intestacy rules, leaving the Crown to determine who receives your estate.
  2. Prevent Conflict—By laying out your legally binding wishes, potential disputes over who should get what can be circumvented.
  3. Alleviate Stress—Having a will in place reduces the extensive and complex bureaucracy your loved ones will have to deal with in a time of grief.
  4. Prepare Care For Your Children – Specify who you’d like to be the guardian of your children under 18 instead of the courtroom selection.
  5. Prepare Care For Your Pets – Include guidance for those who wish to care for your pets.
  6. Reduce Inheritance Tax—Planning your estate in your will can help reduce the Inheritance Tax your estate is liable to. The current threshold is £325,000.
  7. Donate to Charities – after taking care of loved ones, you can also make a positive impact on causes close to your heart.
  8. Funeral Requests – state what kind of funeral you want.
  9. Protect Your Digital Assets –Determine who can and cannot access your digital assets, from photographs to important password-protected documents.

Click here to find out more information about will writing

The Financial Conduct Authority do not regulate will writing, tax planning, or estate planning.

If you would like to discuss wills and other later-life planning further, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01903 534587